April 21, 2014
You were worried that your many emails would be overwhelming...but I loved them! It is SO nice to see pictures, and I really love the quotes you send me. At the end I want to make a quote book with all the quotes you've sent me throughout the mission. It is also really fun to hear about what people in Georgia are doing! I feel so isolated from everything, and my only window into the world outside of Misión Chile Osorno is emails. hahaha. So I love to hear about what's going on and remember that real life still exists! haha my brain is so confused about this. You wouldn't believe the people that pop up in my dreams! It was fun to hear about JXXX and JXXX; they've both popped up in dreams here as a missionary. Yesterday night the KXXXs were in my dream. And a few days ago, in a dream I went into a big auditorium and it was for a physics class, but all of the students were missionaries and you (Mama). We all had to get on an airplane to go to Punta Arenas, and we weren't going to be able to come back for a month. So I asked you if you could be my companion in Punta Arenas for a month, but at the same time I was worried about what you would do while I was in my physics classes, and the professor was going to be a man from the branch here in Río Bueno. How confusing. haha. And also this week I found out that my companion from the MTC has to go home for a really serious knee problem, so I was thinking, "Oh my gosh, I'm going to be the only sister missionary going back to the States in February!" I'm really happy that I will be able to come home to Georgia. :) I had a question that I keep forgetting to ask....are you still doing speech therapy? You haven't talked about that for a long time.
You have talked about this box so much that now I am really looking forward to when it comes! It is always fun to get new things. Last week we went to the "tienda americana," which is basically like Plato's Closet or Cotton Kids, used clothes from the United States. We bought heavy wool skirts for when the winter comes. We were so excited! But speaking of Hump Day, I really can't believe that I am so close! Next Monday I will have been a missionary for 8 months. This mission just zips right on by. Thank you for telling me that I am having an amazing mission! I have learned so very many things, but I think one of the most important is learning to redefine excellence in the way that the Lord looks at it. Honestly, before the mission, I thought that to be an excellent missionary meant to have a whole bunch of baptisms, to be called to be a trainer early in the mission, and then to become a sister training leader towards the end. But that type of excellence relies way too much on comparing yourself to others, and on pride. Being an excellent missionary all centers in how much you dedicate yourself to serving the Lord and loving Him and His children. Hermana Núñez and I work so, so hard and we pray so much! And sometimes it is really easy to become disappointed and feel like we are failing because the less actives we are working with still aren't going to church, or because our investigators still aren't ready to be baptized, or any number of things. But we have learned SO much in these two transfers together! We have really learned to apply so many principles in Preach My Gospel, and through that we have seen our testimonies grow and we have learned to be better missionaries. In the past weeks I have heard a couple of really great quotes:
"This is the work of Lord. If it was our work, we would surely fail. But it is His work. And He does not fail."
"You can count the number of seeds in one apple, but you cannot count the number of apples that come from one seed."
Quotes like these help me to look at my missionary service in a different light and to go forward with a smile on my face. I have been studying a lot this week about humility. At times humility can seem so complicated and difficult to acquire. But honestly, it is so important to seek humility. If we are not humble, then we are prideful, and when we have pride, we cannot love the Lord. Loving the Lord is the first step. It is the way that we can achieve happiness! Jesus is the one who makes us truly happy.
This week for Easter, we have been giving out a lot of pass along cards of Jesus Christ, and reminding people about how important it is that He lives! With one less active man, we watched Finding Faith in Christ, or "Como hallar fe en Cristo." That video is so powerful! I really love to watch it and see how many miracles our Savior performed...and the most incredible, how He could love every person. His love inspires me to love more.
Here is the link to the video that Melanie is shared with her investigators: http://www.mormonchannel.org/films?v=2212336810001
I watched the video you sent me, "Because of Him." WOW! How fabulous! I would love it if you could put that on my blog too. It is so great.
Here is the link to the Easter video that I sent to Melanie: mormon.org/BecauseofHim
This week our best experience happened with an old investigator. We have a gigantic binder as missionaries called an area book, and inside it we write a short report about every lesson we teach, every contact we make, etc. We organize the investigators according to if they are progressing or not, and one of the files is for old investigators...people who the missionaries taught in the past but now are not teaching. Recently we went through our old investigators and decided to visit a few of them to see if they were interested in sharing the gospel again. We went to visit one of them, and had a nice enough lesson with her. We set a date to come back. But his week we decided to go by just to see if she was home and home she was doing. When we went by, she asked us what we believed about prophets, and we started to teach the first lesson. It was a really spiritual lesson, and she remembered enough from her other missionaries that she really understood! It was such a great lesson, and we invited her to baptism and she accepted! We are so excited. We're going to keep visiting and see how everything goes! I have really learned to love the area book. It is such a great resource to help us serve better.
I love you all so so so so much! It makes me so happy all of the FHE lessons that you have, and that you are studying Preach My Gospel! Even though I can't talk to you as much or see you, I can really see all the blessings and progress that you have in your lives! I am sending you giant Happy Easter hugs! Also, for a holiday that no one celebrates...tomorrow is Earth Day! Happy Earth Day!! :)
Love always, Hermana Latham